Tag Archives: short stories

Of Writers & Wroters: Pressing in to your Future or Settling Somewhere in your Past

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Where do you find the inspiration you need to make it to your writing desk faithfully? Is it your financial obligations pushing you forward? Is it your desire to prove everyone wrong who told you that you wouldn’t make a living as a writer; those family members and childhood friends who still crack little sarcastic jokes, asking when you’re going to get a ‘real job’? Are you in the fresh young love stage: you’ve recently discovered your passion for writing and have been caught in the honeymoon phase? Or, have you been writing long enough to realize that there’s nothing else able to bring real pleasure to your life than releasing the stories that are constantly being birthed inside you?

When I moved to Wichita Kansas from Northern California, I had a really hard time acclimating to the midwest culture. Over the next few years I became pretty impressed with Wichita’s music, art, and Independent film scene. Being excited about the art scene—and being the social butterfly that everyone says I am—I was invited to several Writers groups and I jumped at the offers.

Unfortunately, these groups didn’t bring any encouragement to me as a writer at all. In fact, after ‘hanging out’ at these so called ‘Writer’s Groups’ I ended up depressed with nothing to show for all the time I’d spent each week at these meetings. I wasn’t being encouraged to write. I wasn’t being encouraged to push myself; any encouragement I gave to the groups, to press on and believe that their best was yet to come, was shot down. I soon realized that:

(1) At these writing groups there wouldn’t actually be any writing happening

(2) There wouldn’t be any talk or challenging of each other to write

(3) Everyone was more than satisfied to live in the memories and stories of the few things they had written and had published somewhere in years long past.

The ones who had invited me to these groups, and those who filled the chairs in the quaint houses and local coffee shops where they met to tell their publishing stories from the ‘Good Old Days’—a time and place, within the stories of past moments. A place that I am not willing to live my future in—were all wonderful people. I love to sit and sip on a mug of hot coffee or tea and listen to their stories. I still do it today. I couldn’t, however, do it any longer as part of a ‘Writing Group.’ They were not writing groups; they were all reminiscing/talking groups—which were great for hanging out and reminiscing and talking. Not for writing or becoming better writers.

In a recent post, Gary Bizzo (www.garybizzo.com), shares an interesting quote from one of his friends. A quote that has been rolling around in my mind all morning:

“Some entrepreneurs are emotionally tied up in their smallness.”

Although Gary was using the quote to make a point about the potential that many small business owners miss out on because they’ve allowed themselves to find comfort in the ‘safety’ of what they are used to; the comfort zone of present success.

They’ve become satisfied living within the unsatisfying refuge of what they’ve already accomplished; giving themselves to the fact that thought that they’ve done their best, there’s nothing else to give, and they’ve accomplished all they are going to accomplish.

I don’t fit in with a group like that. You don’t fit in with a group like that. Those Writers (or I should say, Wroters) won’t be having cups of coffee or tea at 4 or5am—eyes barely open, still half dreaming—to continue working on their latest WIP; to edit pieces from the day before; to start their morning writing exercises; begin their routine submissions process, or—if like me or any number of literary Jedi out there—juggle the insanity of all-of-the-above.

Tenacity, Confidence, Addressing a Real Need.

These are what the patent specialists (www.2innovative.net) call “Key Concepts” when patenting business ideas. The same is true in the life of a writer.

  • TENACITY, to go against the flow; against the whispers and little cutting, sarcastic jokes; and against the temptation to find a home among the ‘Wroter’s Groups’ living in yesteryear. Tenacity to keep writing even when technical issues and computer crashes cause you to lose hundreds of thousands of words. Ouch, yes, I know and it’s happened to me too many times as well. That’s why God created Google Drive, iCloud Storage, BOX, Microsoft OneDrive, DropBox, and the Calitso it guys [ok maybe God didn’t create them but they can all be your literary salvation when your computer crashes.]
  • CONFIDENCE in your personal passion as a writer. The kind of confidence that propels you towards your computer, tablet, pen & paper, or typewriter every day to create the kind of literary magic that you do. It also takes confidence to respect your work enough to stay with it through edit and submission.
  • ADDRESSING A REAL NEED is at the heart of your talent. Humanity isn’t happy. Everyone is looking for happiness. Everyone is running after it as fast as they can; though no one is quite sure where to find it. Stories, books, novels, movies, comics, graphic novels, television shows and series, etc., ect., – these are the momentary escapes which, no matter how bad the economy is, continue to become more and more popular—and even more so when times are harder on people—because people want escape. People need their temporary escapes from reality to cope with a life that they’re not happy with. You and I are the writers, artists, filmmakers, who dream up and create those escapes.

Our creative talents and abilities create the alternate realities and escapes that fuel the mental vacations keeping the masses from becoming infected with the ‘crazies.’

For me, this is more than enough inspiration to meet my computer every morning over coffee. This is more than enough reason to keep romancing my Muse, to keep faithful with daily edits and rewrites; more than enough reason to keep submitting regardless of the rejections slips and resubmissions. With each published work we share another opportunity to offer hope and momentary relief to our fellow friends and family of humanity.

What inspires you to write?

What inspires you to keep meeting that computer each morning?

What inspires you to honor your heart, respect your purpose, fight for your freedom to be a creator?

I’d love to hear from you.

Cheers to you, Writers!

-Sam

@SamuelWConnelly

www.SamTheWriter.com 

Fresh Eyes: Stepping Away to Get Closer

Futuristic glasses image by Syda Productions via Shutterstock
Futuristic glasses image by Syda Productions via Shutterstock

Some of us have been writing so long that we find ourselves going through the motions and not really seeing or expecting as much as we’d like from it. But—and this is the few times you’ll ever hear me say this—sometimes the best thing you can do for your writing is to stop writing. Sometimes the best thing we can do is take out hand off of it, long enough to reclaim ourselves, renovate ourselves; look at our piece of work, our collection of works, and in some cases our goal or dreams again and examine them through new lenses.

While doing my normal weekly web surfing—for ideas about writing from unexpected places, for my other writing blog at SamTheWriter.com—I ran across a home renovation site, and these guys got me thinking about a simple yet essential practice that writer’s often forget about, or neglect. In neglecting or pushing it off, for ‘a better time,’ writers often end up suffering some very severe consequences that show up in quality of work, quantity of work, accessing creativity, and/or desire to continue their pursuit of a writing life.

The Lesson: Fresh Eyes, Fresh Mind

As writers, we suffer a creative form of literary bipolar disorder. It not only affects us writer’s but all Artists and Creatives. Some, like myself, see it as a frustrating rollercoaster-like relationship with our Muse. Other’s describe it as ‘being in’ or ‘falling out’ of touch with the Spirit of Creativity. However you define or describe it, you know what I’m talking about.

We love our WIPs (Work In Progress) one day and the next day we’re looking at it thinking, ‘What was I so freakin excited about when I wrote this?’ This is how many really great story and article ideas end up in the waste-basket-graveyard when they were good enough to be published—if only its creator had spent a little time away and had come back to it with fresh eyes it wouldn’t have died so premature. This is also the reason that many great story and article ideas get reject when the ideas were publish-worthy; the article or story’s creator, this time submitted it too early because they were so excited about the idea that they just couldn’t wait to send it off after the needed edits or rewrites.

A break, mini vacation…something—just get away from you work. I don’t care if you have to book a flight to Las Ventanas Del Mar [I’ve even highlighted the link for you], just get away from you work for a few days, even a week. When I finished my first 60,000-word novel, I literally hated it the day after I typed the last sentence. I was about to erase the whole thing when instead I decided to save it to a new flash drive I had been given, put it in my desk drawer. I didn’t look at it that week. One week lead to a month and that lead to forgetting about it for seven years!

About a year after I had written and saved the novel onto that flash, I moved to St. Louis to host a rock video show. Once I’d finally gotten around to setting up my office again I found the drive, popped it in and, after a few hours found myself, mouth gaping, in total shock and amazement at this work of fiction. Even more amazing to me was the fact that I had written it.

Yes, I took way too long of a vacation from it, but no I didn’t regret it being so long since I’d read it because it was like the manuscript has matured and evolved into something beautiful. IT hadn’t matured, of course, I had gained an important and essential writer’s resource. I was reading it through brand new specs: Fresh Eyes, a fresh mindset, and a fresh perception.

Everytime I write short fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, blog posts (like this), articles for news sources or magazines and, especially posts or content for clients — as soon as I finish writing the piece I set it aside for as long as it needs to be; usually the time I spend away from it depends on length of word count, my emotional connection to it, or deadline.

I know several professional photographers and, it’s crazy how many photos they shoot, of the same subject, and crazier the time they spend going through each picture to find the perfect one to represent their work. You can tell a great photographer by, not only the quality of their work but, the quantity of quality work they put on their website. One could look at The Wright House Photography website and say that it’s a nice, clean, simple site. But when I look at it I see a photographer who has spent countless hours mulling through mountains of photos to represent herself—and her skill—through many hours of personal sacrifice.

Artists don’t just create a work and throw it out for all to see; they know that what they put out is a presentation of who they are. It’s the same with every single piece of work we writers complete. They don’t say, “Writing the first draft is easy, it’s the 20 to almost infinite following that’ll drive you insane,” for no reason.

If you really want to put your best work forward — take a break from it. Read it through the filter of fresh eyes. Time away will show you many things—both great and not-so-great—about your work; things you need to see with fresh eyes to edit properly.

Try them on now…

Maybe you have some great pieces of literary work right under your nose that you’ve filed away in a cabinet or computer file because you didn’t give it a chance. Maybe you stopped a project right in the middle because you decided it wasn’t what you originally thought that it was; it wasn’t turning out as you hoped it would. Maybe you need to pull those things out and look at them with fresh eyes and fresh mind. You never know, you could have the next best seller on your hands; or at least some really great idea to use as the framework for some new idea. You may just shock yourself at what you wrote and walked away from.

Maybe you’ve been staring at your monitor for the last few days frustrated because you don’t know where to take the story. The best thing you could do for that work is get away from it for a few days or week.

Try it. Let me know if you find a hidden treasure. I won’t be shy about accepting a finder’s fee if you end up at the top of a New York Times Best Sellers list. Just kidding, but not really.

Cheers to you writers!

As always: Write, Write, Write as if burning on fire…then submit!

-SamTheWriter

Connect:

 

Start The New Year WRITE! & Don’t Forget What You’ve Written

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“You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you’re working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success – but only if you persist.”

– Isaac Asimov

I usually just skip the whole ‘making a New Year Resolution’ thing, but I do usually have a few things in mind that I want to accomplish in the new year. One of those things is publishing more work. As writer’s I would hope that we all want to accomplish that.

I hear writer’s all the time tell me that that only write for themselves and that they don’t really care to be published. To that, I call ‘Shenanigans’! Yes you do! We all do. We all love the feeling of having our work accepted by an editor and then published for others to enjoy. It’s a great feeling. It’s a beautiful moment. Seeing your work in print gives a special validation to your craft; the hours of research you put in, the creative chats you had with yourself in the quite- in the bathroom mirror, and endless cuts and rewrites.

The picture above is a picture of a cup of coffee in front of my iPad. I keep this picture as the background on my iPad. For me, it’s a reminder that I’m a writer and I have a job to do, so I should go ahead and get the ideas percolating and the coffee brewing.

I love and hate the quote above by Isaac Asimov. I love it because it’s true, and it gives an encouragement of hope for writers. I hate it because it’s true, and it reminds me that ‘just writing‘ won’t pay the cell phone bill.

I heard it said: “Persistence breaks down resistance.”  This is a marking and evangelism encouragement quotes, but when it comes to submitting your work I’ve found that persistence also builds resistance. I’m talking about the feeling you get when you receive a rejection slip, or two, of 50. The more you persistently send out your work to editors, the more you learn, the more feedback you get on your work, and the more resistance you build against the emotional feeling of defeat or failure.

2014 is here, and I hope as a writer you’re ready to scribble out some new ideas, stories, poems, etc. I hope that you’re diving into market research to find the names of the editors who may be looking for your work.

Although you have new ideas to scribble out and fresh stories to tell, do forget the gold that you have already written; the stories, articles, manuscripts written last year and before. While you’re hopping on the again, getting ready to blaze a new trail, start submitting the work you’ve finished. If you’re gonna get rejections, then start sending what you’ve already written- get the ball rolling. The feedback you get in some of those rejections are going to be the seasoning you needed in this fresh batch to give them just what they’re craving.

Cheers to you and this new year. 

Connect with me, and share you stories. I’d love to hear them.

-Cheers!       SamTheWriter

Follow Me @SamuelWConnelly 

#RiseOfTheWriters :2013-2014 The Year of The Writer

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#RiseOfTheWriters 2013-2014  

We were excited to hear words very similar to these come from Quentin Tarantino at the beginning of the year. This year has very much been a year for writers. What’s more exciting, is that the rest 2013, and looking into 2014, it only appears to get better and better for the Writer.

#RiseOfTheWriters – It’s a social movement. A call to writer’s by writer’s. A move to encourage writers to be who they were made to be. A move to share encouragement, to motivate each other to write and submit, write and submit, write and submit. There are industries, literary journals, trade journals, editors of magazines, news groups, greeting card publishers, filmmakers, and Publishing Houses, all asking for new materials, new writers, new ideas. It’s time now for you to answer.

There are great writers out there. We read their works and see their new books advertized all the time. Yet the more I travel collecting stories and sharing stories; the more I connect with quiet-coffeehouse-writers and secret writers the more I’ve met many many prolific writers. These are truly passionate writers, gifted, experienced in the literary form.

I’ve had the great pleasure to sit down with many wonderful writers who find themselves writing for so many different reasons. Some write because they cannot stop writing. Some are so passionate about their literary masterpieces that they cannot dream of doing anything else. Most have other full time jobs, but are compelled to write. Some no longer see themselves as ‘A Writer’ although they find themselves scribbling on breaks, late at night, or just because.

These Writers may not be published. Some were published years ago. Some stopping trying to have their works put in print because of a few rejections. Yet, they write. Why? Because they are Writers and Writers must Write, it is in our blood.

However the Moment of the Writer is here… The Planet Needs You!

#RiseOfTheWriters is a call to Writers to awaken to this Moment. This Moment is ours. There’s magic in this Moment. There’s a need in this Moment. There’s an open door into the infinite in this Moment. This Moment is mine, it’s yours.

There’s a Moment that has opened up to us Writers. A Moment where our Muses’ are bidding us to come to the dance floor again. To dance between the pages and create Moments for those – the Readers – who are calling out for a Moment of relief, a Moment of escape.

#RiseOfTheWriters is a networking of SuperHeroes. Those REAL superheroes who, like Gods, create Characters, places in time, planets, other species. Like Gods, creating words in sentences, phrases, stanzas, paragraphs, articles, and poems which reach deeply into the souls of mankind and release emotions.

#RiseOfTheWriters is the signal light in the night, the shout from the front lines, the CHARGE to you authors, journalists, poets, song writers, and Lovers of the Muse to pick up your pens and keyboards and start romancing your Muse– to start making Love to your Muse to start filling pages.

Where are you Greeting Card Poets, Song Writers, and Copywriters? Where are you Novelists, Screenwriters, short, flash, micro-fiction Aficionados? Where’s you Fiction-lit, Creative Non-fiction, Horror, Scifii, Romantics, Thriller, Mystery, and Inspirational Writers?

#RiseOfTheWriters is an invitation from this Writer to you, Writer. An invitation to get completely drunk and wasted on the intoxicants of your literary Love, your Muse– and make something happen. Will you lose it with me? Will you write and submit like men and women on fire? Like Titans, who have just remembered who they are, and Awakening to themselves again?

This is your Moment. This is our Hour. This is a call to an Awakening of the Literary Kind. To join with Writers all over the world – to encourage – to share knowledge (of industry needs, proper formatting, submission tips etc.)  – kind works – motivation to keep writing and submitting and highlights of successful moments?

I’m In.

Are You?

#Fight2Write

#RiseOfTheWriters

Let me know your in. What’s your passion? What do you write? HashTag #RiseOfTheWriters and soundoff with what you do and lets know that You’re In. I’d like to be an encouragement to you and will need your’s as well.

My Twitter is @SamuelWConnelly find me – help me find you.

 

HashTag (#) #RiseOfTheWriters to share What you do, and share highlights, and connect with other writers from around the world.

Example:

“ @SamuelWConnelly: I am poetry, fiction, short fiction, horror, thriller, scifi, etc. I’m IN!!! #RiseOfTheWriters ”

Are You In Need of help (Writing or Industry Questions) then HashTag (#) #Fight2Write with your question- and Writers with the answers will respond – just be ready to offer the knowledge that you may have to help another Writer.

Example:

“ @SamuelWConnelly: I’m looking for a place to submit my short dark fiction ‘ArborDay’ 4,032 Word? Who should I submit to? #Fight@Write ‘

or

“@SamuelWConnelly: I need help formatting my story (or poetry collection,etc.) #Fight2Write

or

“@SamuelWConnelly: This Writer’s Block is freakin kicking my butt. Help #Fight2Write

There are many literary journals, editors, publishers, filmmakers, businesses, publishing houses, greeting card publishers, trade journals, etc., that are looking for your literary masterpiece.

And with so many wars, the financial, political, & religious fights, and humanities need for an momentary escape; a mental vacation from all the crazy– your particular ability is being called upon.

Let’s gear up – pen in hand…and fly.

SamTheWriter

Signing Out — but not off

“Write like you believe that you’re saving the Planet”

                  – Me

Do you have a Writer’s Page? Please share the link.

I’ll be Highlighting other Writer’s Pages, Blogs, Twitters, FaceBooks, etc. too.

As many resources as possible so that we have maximum opportunity to succeed.

You can also find my My Mistress Muse Poetry Blog here.

I am having www.SamTheWriter.com updated too so it’s not just about me, but filled with resources for Writers and Connecting Writers with Writers, editors, publishers, literary agents, and a large collection of places to submit your various works.

You Can also find and connect with me on Facebook or Twitter here.

Don’t Miss The Magic!!!

Go ahead, make a wish. Do your best not to pass up this opportunity

Magic, for me, it’s the biggest and possibly most important part about the writing life. You create characters, events, towns, worlds, and moments. What is more magical than that. Recently one of my micro-fiction stories were published in an inspirational anthology. The story is called ‘The Mystery of the Artist‘, and I wrote it as part of a writing-prompt competition.

The short, is about the tree used to make the cross that Jesus was crucified on. The point of view was from the wood’s perspective of what was happening. The tree, wanting to be used for something great, now cut down and laying around, dried lumber. For me there was magic in the idea of this tree and it’s perspective of what was happening with this man, Jesus, and what made him so bad that everyone wanted him dead.

I never really thought much of the maybe 450-600 word short, but to my surprise I received a ton of feedback, and finally a request to publish it in the Best of FaithWriters collection, ‘Hidden In The Hymns’ by Winepress.

The story came from a seemingly insignificant moment. A moment when I was walking a bike path to think about all I had on my plate and how overwhelmed I was. A moment when I had so many writing deadlines that part of me really felt like just taking a huge break from writing.

As I sat there on an old wooden bench, thinking, and listening to the wind blow through the trees I put my head down and was going to just close me eyes when I noticed ‘J+C’ carved into the old bench. At first I wondered about who J and C were. Then I began to make up a story about them. In my mind I had created a story of young love and love lost, and how Jason Whitfield would come visit this path every year and sit on this bench and close his eyes and remember the magic lived and loved between him and his now passed on Love, Caroline.

After I wrote a few notes I thought about how amazing it is that an object, like the old wooden bench, being significantly insignificant in the scheme of life, can become a magical escape for someone like Jason, taking him back to earlier beautiful times.

Then I thought about the bench, and the wood, where it came from, and what life it may have had from sprout to tree. Even after its birth and death, it sits here with eternal purpose and meaning. That’s when I thought about the tree that would grow up, be cut down, and used to crucify a carpenter.

That magic gave birth to ‘The Mystery of the Artist’.

I hope that this little blurp is of some encouragement to you writers. Sometimes deadlines, or life, or other circumstances weigh on us and it can be easy to miss the magic that is quite literally all around us.

I want to encourage you to get out and walk around a bit, visit a park, walk a bike path, or sit in the back yard and give yourself the permission to dream a little. Find that magic around you, close your eyes and listen to it whisper in the wind, open you mouth and stick out your tongue and taste it, like falling snow flakes.

You are a writer, a person who creates moments for others. It’s important that you find the magical moments of life, and romance them, experience them, and then pour it out into your creative words so you can share them with the readers. That’s magic. That’s beautiful. That’s real. You did that!

Hope this Moment encourages you.

Write, write, write, and never quite. The world needs you.

-SamTheWriter,

signing off.

The Writer’s Month NaNoWriMo? What’s Your Story?

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THE PROBLEM:

There are planets inside of that head of yours trying as hard as they can to get out. You, are the artist, the creator, the only one that has the ability and power to bring those worlds to life.

The characters that live in your mind have no other way to fulfill their purpose, of living out their destinies, in the realm of two-dimensional pages, unless you put them there.

And here you sit; pen in hand, paper laying ready, ink desperately longing to kiss and make contact with that irresistible white page, and yet, you sit.

A TOOL TO BE USED:

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writers Month). I want to encourage you to take advantage of November. To be able to join writer all over the nation: all ages, all genres, all faiths, all cultures, in the spirit of literary creativity to find that encouragement to push yourself forward in your novel writing endeavors.

Sometimes the help that we need, as writers, is nothing more than the knowledge that we are not alone, and that stories are being written, books are being sold, and readers are being born every single moment.

Men and women will continue to write and be published. The biggest reason that writer’s don’t get published, or books get written is simply because they are not being written. It’s stupidly simple, but painfully true.

NaNoWriMo is a month devoted to help you dive back into that pool of creativity, rediscover your dreams, and find the courage to pick up that pen and write.

You Have A Story to Tell

I was at a #140 Conference today in Hutchinson, Kansas, listening to many amazing people share how they use Twitter and other social medias in their daily lives, (I was there for ideas for another blog I am writing and about to launch, which is super exciting…and I’ll share later) and, Andrea Springer, Springer Coaching and Consulting, said, “Everyone has a story to tell.”

That little statement is so true, and it’s a truth that has filled books, entertained readers, and inspired people to make history since time began.

There are so many that have made a living telling their story or someone else’s story. Why not be one of those people? What really is stopping you?

Here’s the Challenge

One month

50,000 words

Anything you want to write about.

 

Check out the official NaNoWriMo web site and get involved.

This post was not at all crazy informative, with all the How-To tips on accomplishing your writing dreams- it wasn’t supposed to. I want to just encourage you, as a writer to a writer; an artist to an artist: Don’t give up, don’t stop. Don’t listen to that silly little voice that says that no one wants to hear or read your story.

Jump in, because you’re a writer. That’s what you are, that’s what you do, you write, you create, you make amazing art; people, places, creatures, planets, and no one, NO ONE, can bring to life the story, with the magic that you can, because it’s yours.

So come on, join me, and many many others on this November Adventure. Go to NaNoWriMo, sign in (you can find me in there too and we can be buddies Smile sweet!) and write, write, write.

…you never know what may happen.

SamTheWriter,

Signing off.

 

You can also follow me on Twitter @samuelwconnelly

or friend me on Facebook/samuelwconnelly

Gadgets and the Pen and the Dance

There are several amazing gadgets out there for getting all your notes and writing ideas quickly recorded on a cell phone (or some other on-the-go-gadget) and shot off into the electronic unknown universe, where mysterious invisible creatures magically synchronize all of our Blackberry’s, desktops, and laptops. It is amazing, I must admit.

I, personally found a few gadgets I use for everyday notes. My favorite (at the moment) is a free note tool called Evernote. It’s perfect for my Blackberry. I think the IPhone has a similar product called AwesomeNote.

Although these tools are amazing, and yes, even necessary for keeping my planets all organized, I find myself, at this very moment, standing in Office Depot, in front of a million different pens. With a bundle of four, thick 250 sheet, college ruled, spiral notebooks; it seems clear to me that I have already decided that I am going to buy one of these crazy expensive pens.

Why?

There is a power in the pen. There is magic, it seems, in the dance between the hand and the pen, as they grip, embrace, and move gracefully, as one, across the finely pressed paper dance floor.

To me, writing is both business and passion. Sometimes I get so caught up in the business and the stress of getting paid for my art, that I can forget the passion and the magic, that romanced me in the first place and caused me to fall in love with the art.

The gadgets are good for the business, but the gadgets do not bring the romance that the pen brings. The magic for my readers should be in the end product, but the magic for me (as the writer) is in the lovemaking process which comes in the dance. The dance happens after the bones have been laid down and before the editing happens, the dance happens when I grab a pad and pen and look over the bones (my ideas) and then let my passion set my mind, and paper ablaze as the hand and the pen romance the paper dance floor.

The business of writing is always calling. As writers, it is always nice to have the freedom to wake up, get some coffee, and produce a day’s worth of writing from home, or a hotel, in our underwear, but the truth is: The business never stops calling.You can write and romance the thought of being where you want, when you want, but for the real professional writer, it is a life of constant deadlines, mental breakdown in the creativity room, and the struggle to keep a healthy flow of story ideas.

This is where it is good to have the gadgets. Think, type onto your phone, press send, and you have it.

Yet remember the romance. Remember that the dance floor is always ready and wanting the dance. Remember that the pen, as our patient loving dance partner is always longing for her dance mate, and the Muse, our other-world creative lover, is constantly reaching her tender hand out to us, bidding us: Come.

I could have saved you the last minute of reading by summarizing this idea as a ‘Business of Writing How-To’, but I was in the mood to dance.

It is a business

It is a passion

We are the Writer’s

Write, Write, Write!

Signing off,

SamtheWriter

PS

Oddly enough, I was very passionate about this as I walked around at Office Depo, so this post was writing and submitted from my Blackberry Curve. 🙂 silly little gadget.

Write On The Run

 

need for speed

Where do you write?

In your car, on a train,

At the park, or baseball game?

On the job, or your lunch break

The ocean front, or at the lake?

(So I’m no Seuss)

 

I have a full time job at a coffeehouse. I love coffee, I really, really do. In fact I’m the general manager of the freakin coolest coffeehouse in Wichita Kansas. Coffee’s a passion of mine; it’s just as much a passion as writing is. I spend more than 60 hours a week at the coffeehouse.

But which is the bigger priority? What’s more important for me? Coffee Vs. Writing…who will be the victor? 

Sometimes I feel it’s the coffeehouse, because of the consistent paycheck it brings in. Other times I feel that writing is more important, which is such a part of my soul that when I neglect it I feel as though I’m neglecting my soul-mate.

And then I have to come back to the important question: Can I balance the two, and if so, how?

First of all, I don’t see that I have the option to neglect or quit writing. I also know that the rent will not get paid if I quit the coffeehouse, not to mention that the money I’d spend on coffee would put me on the street. My only option is to find time to balance the two loves – for practical, financial, and personal-purpose reasons.

So then. I have to chose which lover gets my time at what time. As of right now, my coffeehouse gets the majority of my day. But then, the night and early morning belongs to my literary Muse. And boy do we dance.

Since the priority of the day goes to the endless running of the shop I have to write on the go!

I keep a pad of paper and a pen in my pocket all the time. I also have my trusty (though frustrating sometimes)  Blackberry at my side at all moments. I’ve found that it’s easier to write quantity in the early morning when I wake up or in the evening before bed, when I keep my ideas logged throughout the day.

Ideas hit me constantly: while I’m making a drink for someone, writing the schedules, picking up milk, dropping off a deposit, etc. and as I keep myself in a habit of jotting down those ideas on a pad or in my Blackberry, later I send it to my e-mail so I can go over all the scribbles and I find that I actually have something creatively-pursuable.

Questions:

1. Do you have a fulltime job?

2. What writing habits do you have?

3. If you do have a fulltime job, when was the last time you finished a short story?

I want to encourage you full-timers, to not allow the pen and paper to be neglected. Don’t leave the Muse at home longing to be romanced. Even a step so small as jotting a few notes down during your busy day will help stir up the creative juices and get the creative side of your brain turning and churning – which is good.

Remember that you are a writer. The world NEEDS you! You are a superhero of sorts, creating worlds of temporary escape for those all over the world who need a moment of relief.

Write on the go, and see where it takes you.

Let me how it goes, and have fun!

We are a fellowship, a brotherhood whose words are immortal, endless, ageless. What we write lives far beyond our years. What we put to paper has the power to live and change lives generations after we’ve become dust. We are apart of long chain of artists whose words have made and changed history for the good and bad for thousands of years.

What an ability, what a gift, what a beautiful power. The power to create. The Writer’s.

 

Write, Write, Write!

We are The Writer’s, it’s what we do,

It’s who we are, it’s what we were

Created for.

 

SamTheWriter

Signing off.

Making Time For The Romance

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That’s what someone said to me today.

Well Sam, you’re a writer. You have to just make time for the romance. It’s like a real relationship.” 

Oh, I hate when people say crap like that, especially when they’re right.

Writing is just that; it’s a romance. It’s an intimate relationship between you, the creative potential that’s just fighting to get out, and your ability to organize and prioritize your crazy planet in such a way that you CREATE moments to be romantic.

I wrote a blog a while back (way too long ago) about romancing the Muse. It is so crazy vital for a writer or any kind of artist to romance their Muse, but sometimes you have to go against emotion and personal will power. Sometimes you have to MAKE it happen.

Many of the poems, articles, and short stories I have written, were written while I was under the intimate intoxication of the sheer overwhelming Moment I was having with my Muse. It’s in those times that I can pour out 12,000 words in an evening without stopping once to think, and it is usually really freaking good.  Unfortunately this only last a while. Then you have to work for it.

It really is like a relationship.

Stage One: If your dating, it’s like that period of time where you are so head over heels in love that the whole world is flowers and beautiful things.  Or when you get married (Congrads to my friend Jordan and Kayla who just tied the knot) and there’s that insane honeymoon stage where both people are so drunk on each other, that nothing on the planet could ever seem to be too unpleasant again, because you have each other forever.  And you can’t forget that somehow you are the only two people on the planet that are perfect, and you found each other. 

Stage One is freaking amazing. It’s just a lot of romancing, dreaming big, believing in magic, and having tons of sex. (I’m still talking literarily)

Stage Two: The magic slowly starts to wear down. You start to realize that, although  it’d be awesome to travel the world, make-out 8 hours a day, and  bask in each others perfection, truth is: There are other responsibilities. There is work to be done, errands to run, messes to clean up, other people in the world you have obligations to. Not only that but you notice the not as perfect things about each other. To make a long story a little less long: reality started to show up in not so pleasant ways.

As a writer this this that funk you get into where you start to realize that your love, writing, has it’s not so romantic aspects to it. You start to see that sometimes the Muse is not going to show up, sometimes the characters won’t speak. Sometimes work happens. Some times you are just too tired or stressed to think creatively.

This is when you have to decide about your Stage Three.

For some writers, this is the place where they decide the commitment demands too much. Some writers find themselves passionate about other things. But for those truly committed, sold out, romantic artistic lovers, this is the time to re-evaluate priorities. 

This is the time where you decide to break out of the funk. To say “I am a writer, that’s what I am, so now, what am I going to do with it?”

This is where you decide to find a way to get your fingers on a computer, or a pen in your hand, and force it on the paper.  This is where you Make the Time for the Romance.

This is the same way relationships work out. They either work or they don’t, and it all comes down to deciding who you are, and what your going to do about it.

If you need to find a good book about creative ways to write. Do it.

If you need to talk long walks on the beach, or around your neighborhood to get the Muse Juice flowing. Do it.

Listen to music

Read some poetry

Go fishing

Because once you have stretched and struggled through Stage Two, and determined to keep plunging forward, you’ve grown so much that the future trials just don’t seem as hard because you know what to expect and know to fight for what you love so much.

And when you create the habit of Make Time for the Romance… the passion just gets better and better.

The struggles will come, they always do. Just don’t give up, because we are something amazing.

We are writers.

 

Write, write, write

SamTheWriter,

Signing off.

Romancing The Muse

 

As writer’s, we all go through those times where it seems as though creativity has completely dried up and that wonderful fairytale wilderness in the infinite realm of words which lives on the other side of our reality has shut its door and locked us out.

In those moments of desolation and desperation it can feel as though the Muse, herself, has rejected us as artists, as lovers – in the love-game of literary affection and  perpetual passion within the euphoria of the wordsmith.

But, and there is a but…

The Muse can be moved. She can be aroused. She can be taken by the hand, she can be kissed, and in doing so, she can be romanced.

Some say that the Muse is that feeling of passion an artist gets in a Perfect Moment, a moment so unrealistically real that the artist is forced to create art.  Some say that the act of creating art under such influence is a bi-product of some physical equivalence of metaphysical love making. Not that the art was the product of the Muse, but the product of the union between the artist and the spirit of creativity.

Regardless of what or who the Muse may be, she (or it) can be romanced. The Muse is possibly different for each of us.  To me the Muse is more like a lover; a warm hand, and passionate heart which brings the feeling of intoxication when around. No matter what you find your Muse to be, the key to unlocking the creative attributes that they, for some reason, release in you, is to romance them.

Romancing The Muse takes Work on the Artist’s Part –

It is not always easy to be romantic. In my life I am always trying to come up with ways to be romantic, but when it comes down to it: even someone who is as passionate as I am does not always feel like being passionate. It takes work sometimes for me to get into that ‘loving-feeling‘.  As for romancing the Muse, I have to keep myself moving. I have to take time to take walks along the river, or down town, or hide in that secret park down town that few people know is there. I have to keep my eyes open and write down things that I see that I know would be perfect in helping create that amazing moment later.

Work at doing what ever you can to keep the creative juices flowing.  Keep yourself alive by keeping yourself working at not falling asleep to the needs and desires of the Muse.

Romancing the Muse Means Knowing When to Just Give In –

Sometimes the Muse pursues you. Sometimes your Muse wants to get your creativity going. the Muse is creative life. She speaks to me in music, dreams, visions, songs, and other people. A touch from my Muse creates short stories. A kiss from her lips builds planets, cities, and civilizations in my mind. A walk with the Muse gives me the opportunity to understand everything and everyone around me.  When My Muse wants me, I must be ready to say “Here I am”. The Muse is passionate. The Muse is emotional, and full of potency. Unlocking the doors of limitless creative literary life is in her kiss.

When she wants me, I will be there. If she wants to dance, I will dance. If she wants to listen, I will listen. When she wants to kiss, I will be ready. When she just wants me, I’ll make sure I am not too busy with ‘stuff’. Artists many times get so stuck on what they want to Muse to do for them, that they neglect her needs. This causes creative death.

When she calls out…know when to just give in.

Romancing the Muse Is About Not Missing the Moment –

Finally, there are also times when everything seems to just come together. The seconds turn to an infinity, the atmosphere changes, the earth becomes a platform to a dance between you and your Muse. Everything, and the purpose of everything is all about the Moment that has pulled you into its reality. You find yourself in a parallel universe that is 100% more real than reality.  Your Muse and You have just stumbled into an alternate Right Now, and what happens there is all up to you.

Moments are unique to those who discover themselves in them. They are different for each person. They are caused by feeling, circumstances, passion, emotion, the physical surroundings, You and your Muse. They can be easily missed, if the artist not open, ready, willing, or not aware of it.  Don’t miss a moment. It can be at a park, a river walk, a grave yard,  a church, or your porch. The place is just as important to everything thing else in the specific moment. Don’t miss it.

Romance Her, and then write, write, write!

SamTheWriter,

signing off.

www.samthewriter.com